polish

case law

id : 20565

id: 20565

Kraków Court of Appeal order

dated 26 September 2017

Case No. I ACa 1108/17

Summary by arbitraz.laszczuk.pl:

…, a limited liability company in restructuring, based in K., sought in arbitration proceedings performance of a contract by way of payment of alleged receivables resulting from certain invoices. The Court of Arbitration at the Polish Chamber of Commerce in W. (the “Court of Arbitration”) delivered an award of 25 July 2017 in arbitration proceedings brought by …, a limited liability company in restructuring, based in K., against …, a joint-stock company, based in W.

The joint-stock company filed a petition to set aside the arbitration award. The petitioner stated that the Court of Appeal in Kraków would have had jurisdiction in the case according to Art. 1208 § 1 of the Polish Civil Procedure Code (the “PCPC”) and pointed out that if the parties had not entered into the arbitration agreement, the court located in the city where the petitioner had its headquarters would have had jurisdiction in the case (Art. 27 § 1 of the PCPC) or, according to Art. 34 of the PCPC, the court of the place of the contract performance would have had jurisdiction. Additionally, the petitioner invoked Art. 454 § 1 of the Polish Civil Code (the “PCC”). The joint-stock company stated that it resulted from the aforementioned that if the parties had not concluded an arbitration agreement, the Regional Court in Kraków should have jurisdiction in the case, and this Court was located in the area of jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal in Kraków.

The Court of Appeal in Kraków found it did not have territorial jurisdiction and referred the case to the Court of Appeal in W. It stressed that the territorial jurisdiction of a court in proceedings initiated by a petition to set aside an arbitration award was indicated in Art. 1208 § 1 of the PCPC. Pursuant to the provision, a petition to set aside an arbitral award shall, as a matter of principle, be filed with the court of appeal whose territory includes the court that would have been proper to hear the case if the parties had not made an arbitration agreement. The Court of Appeal in Kraków also pointed out that, taking into account the character of the proceedings initiated by the petition to set aside an arbitration award and the fact that the petitioner was the respondent in the case before the Court of Arbitration, the petitioner could not invoke alternate jurisdiction of courts. It was also stated by the Court of Appeal in Kraków that a petition to set aside an arbitration award, under the current legal order, is not similar to a lawsuit, especially to a claim to establish a legal relationship.

It is worth noting that in this order the Court of Appeal in Kraków made a reference to, among other things, the following rulings of the Polish Supreme Court: dated 6 May 2016, Case No. I CSK 305/15 and dated 9 September 2010, Case No. I CSK 535/09.

Additionally, the Court of Appeal in Kraków made a reference to the Warsaw Court of Appeal order dated 28 September 2016, Case No. I Aca 843/16 and to the Wrocław Court of Appeal order dated 20 March 2012, Case No. I ACz 547/12.

Excerpt from the text of the court ruling:

Redefinition of the character of a petition to set aside an arbitration award is, according to the Court of Appeal, particularly significant for the interpretation of Art. 1208 of the Polish Civil Procedure Code in its part concerning local jurisdiction of the court of appeal before which the petition is brought. It is the court of appeal whose territory includes the court that would have been proper to hear the case if the parties had not made an arbitration agreement. It should be noted here that the entity initiating the proceedings (the petitioner) was the respondent in the arbitration proceedings. Therefore, taking the view that a petition to set aside an arbitration award is not a lawsuit, but an extraordinary remedy at law, the petitioner cannot be treated as a claimant. Consequently, it is not entitled to invoke alternate jurisdiction of courts.

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